’Canes in the Community

March 3 Day of Service to Focus on Fire Safety

Research shows that people who have working smoke alarms in their homes double their chances of surviving a fire. On Thursday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., UM faculty and staff can once again make a difference in our community by improving fire safety during the 2016 University of Miami Day of Service.

In support of the American Red Cross “25 Alive” Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, powered by the United Way, UM volunteers will help install household smoke alarms and educate residents in west Miami-Dade about fire safety.

Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the football stadium at Florida International University, where they will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, training, supplies, and team assignments. Lunch will be provided during an end-of-service celebration.

Space is limited. Register online by Thursday, February 18. Please be sure to obtain your supervisor’s approval prior to registering. Confirmed volunteers will receive additional details closer to the Day of Service.

The fire safety event is hosted in partnership with the Greater Miami & The Keys Chapter of the American Red Cross and the United Way of Miami-Dade. For more information, review the frequently asked questions or email userv@miami.edu.


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Miami Hurricanes Holiday Gift Drive Now Underway

ToyDriveThe 2015 Miami Hurricanes Holiday Gift Drive is now underway with a goal of collecting 1,000 toys and gifts—double the number collected last year—for underprivileged children and senior citizens in South Florida. Faculty, staff, students, and members of the UM community are welcome to drop unwrapped toys for children and gifts for seniors in the donation carts in the Whitten University Center lower lobby and the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development at the Shalala Student Center, room 204, through Tuesday, December 8.

Coordinated by the Butler Center, the toy drive is the University’s largest and longest running holiday drive and, for the second year, is partnering with Home Instead Senior Care’s Be a Santa to a Senior program to provide gifts to area seniors. The Butler Center also collaborates with many other community organizations, including the Children’s Home Society of Florida, Just Kids Centers, Inc., the Family Resource Center, Allapattah Community Action, and UM’s Miller School of Medicine to help provide their clients and patients with an amazing holiday season.

If your department or office is interested in getting involved with the Miami Hurricanes Holiday Gift Drive and/or for more information, contact the Butler Center at leadandserve@miami.edu or 305-284-4483.


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UM Launches New Digital Tool for Improving Affordable Housing Needs


Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement, discusses the MAP mission at The Beacon Council.

By Andres Tamayo
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (May 29, 2015) – University of Miami officials last week officially launched the Miami Affordability Project, or MAP, an interactive online tool that provides rich data about affordable housing and development.

In a meeting at The Beacon Council, more than 100 community officials, executives, and local media turned out for the event, which has been more than a year-and-a-half in the making and was spearheaded by UM’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and the Center for Computational Science.

The MAP program is free to use and visualizes neighborhood-level housing market dynamics, and assists in developing data-driven strategies for housing and community development.

“The overall goal of our housing and community development work is to increase the availability of affordable housing and to promote balanced, people- and place-based revitalization strategies that are sensitive to the history and culture of neighborhoods,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement.

The project, which focuses on improving housing opportunities for residents of low- to moderate-income Miami neighborhoods, was funded through grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund.

Miami ranks first in the nation in severe cost burden, meaning that more people in Miami than in any other metropolitan area spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing.

“With the development of MAP, courtesy of Dr. Bachin and her team at the CCE, we will now be able to better measure, better manage, better provide for affordable housing because our basic assumptions will be right, not wrong,” said Michael Liu, director, Miami-Dade Public Housing and Community Development. “It will be based on empirical data and analysis not on myth and anecdote.”

Liu joined fellow community officials Arden Shank, president and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, and Barbara “Bobbie” Ibarra, executive director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, as speakers. The launch also featured speakers from JPMorgan Chase and The Beacon Council.

The innovative project is only the second of its kind – the first was done in New York. For more information on the MAP and its capabilities, visit http://comte.ccs.miami.edu/housing/.

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Sweat Has Its Rewards: Giving Back to the Community

More than 100 faculty and staff from all campuses left their desks and labs Friday and headed to Liberty City’s Charles R. Drew K-8 Center, where they primed, painted, hammered, drilled, and sweated their way through a rewarding UM Day of Service, which was held in advance of Sunday’s Clinton Foundation Day of Action for students attending the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting on the UM campus.

“It’s great to get out of the office and contribute to the community for a good cause,’’ said Human Resources’ Jackie Henderson, who spruced up a garbage enclosure with the Office of the Controller’s Karen Bonner.

UM volunteers worked with the Miami Children’s Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on transforming Liberty City into a prosperous community. They helped community residents paint murals, trash bins, and garden borders, refurbish clothes lines, power wash residences, and build and paint shade structures.

“The response from UM employees was tremendous, and fully reflected the spirit of the U,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president of human resources. “Working with MCI and CGI U, we are making a positive difference in this community, which is part of our common purpose to transform lives through teaching, research, and service. Today we helped transform a neighborhood.”

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TeamUM’s United Way Campaign Surpasses $1 Million Again

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 12, 2015) – Demonstrating the power of philanthropy, faculty and staff contributed their time, talent, and treasure to propel the University through one of its most successful United Way campaigns, raising more than $1 million for the charitable organization that works to improve the lives of Miami-Dade’s citizens.

Through the diligent effort of dedicated ambassadors who coordinated the 2014 campaign at the grassroots level, more than 3,900 faculty and staff participated, raising $1.16 million—up from the previous campaign that brought in $1.13 million.

“I would like to thank our wonderful ambassadors and each and every one of our employees who participated in a fundraising event, or made a payroll pledge, or gave a one-time gift,” said Larry Marbert, UM’s vice president for real estate and facilities, who chaired the University’s 2014 campaign. “Every contribution makes a difference, and it was an honor to play a small role in helping the U deliver once again.”

This year, Marbert said he hopes to improve on employee participation, which declined somewhat from last year. He added that his team “will work to engage more participants.”

Aside from being successful, the 2014 campaign was fun, with a variety of innovative events and fundraisers. They included the Dunk Tank, Candy Grams, Coin Wars, Hoop it Up, Crazy Hat, pictures with Sebastian, Taste of UM, and Flick Football, to name a few.

One of only a handful of local institutions to consistently exceed the $1 million mark, UM has supported the United Way for nearly 40 years, enhancing countless lives through a host of programs aimed at improving education, financial stability, and health.

View the campaign summary report.

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